2 Question 4

That’s a good question.  Some people aren’t aware that the Lord Jesus had natural brothers and sisters.  After he was born, Joseph and Mary continued to have children.  The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers.  Let’s read Matthew 13:53-56 – “And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?”  So, we also learn that the Lord had some sisters, but we are not told how many.  Sadly, we know that while Jesus was on the earth, His brothers did not believe on Him.  John 7:5 says, “For neither did his brethren believe in him.”  We further read in Mark 3:21, “And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.”  Instead of the word ‘friends’, some translations of the Bible use the word ‘relatives’.  So it seems that while he was on the earth that the Lord’s brothers did not believe on Him and, because of that unbelief, tried to hinder the Lord’s work.

Thankfully, we learn that some of his brethren believed on the Lord Jesus after His death and resurrection.  After the Lord’s ascension back to glory, we read in Acts 1:12-14 – “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”  So here we see the Lord’s brothers gathering with and praying with His disciples.  In fact, the books of James and Jude were probably written by brothers of Jesus.

Did you notice the absence of Joseph after the resurrection?  Where was he?  Let’s read Luke 2:41-52 – “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”   This is the last time we read of Joseph.  On the cross, the Lord Jesus sent His mother to live with the Apostle John.  John 19:26-27 – “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”  We would think that if Joseph was still living, Mary would have gone back home to him.  We can naturally assume that somewhere between the time that Jesus was 12 years old and the time of His crucifixion that Joseph passed away.  (2.4)